Clinician Perspectives on Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for High-Risk Outpatients with COVID-19: Implications for Implementation and Equitable Access
BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need to identify and address factors influencing uptake and equitable access to monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for high-risk outpatients with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To assess clinician knowledge, beliefs, and experiences regarding obtaining mAb treatment for eligible patients. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Survey of clinicians (N = 374) practicing in the state of Colorado who care for patients with COVID-19 in primary care, emergency medicine, and other clinical settings. MAIN MEASURE(S): Diffusion of innovation theory concepts including knowledge, perceived strength of evidence, barriers, and experience with, ease of use, preparedness, and feasibility, appropriateness, and acceptability of mAb referral systems and processes. KEY RESULTS: Most respondents indicated little to no knowledge about mAb therapies for COVID-19 (67%, 74%, 77%, for bamlanivimab, bamlanivimab+etesivimab, and casirivimab+imdevimab, respectively). About half reported little to no familiarity with eligibility criteria (50.9%) and did not know the strength of evidence (31%, 43%, 52%, for bamlanivimab, bamlanivimab+etesivimab, and casirivimab+imdevimab, respectively). Lack of knowledge or confidence in treatment was a top barrier to mAbs use; other barriers included complicated referral processes, patients not eligible when seen, and out-of-pocket costs concerns. Respondents rated four mAb referral steps as generally acceptable, appropriate, and feasible to complete in their primary outpatient clinical setting. Only 24% indicated their clinical setting was very prepared to facilitate referrals, 40% had ever referred a patient for mAbs, and 43% intended to refer a patient in the next month. CONCLUSIONS: Clinician education on strength of evidence and eligibility criteria for mAbs is needed. However, education alone is not sufficient. Given the urgent need to rapidly scale up access to treatment and reduce hospitalizations and death from COVID-19, more efficient, equitable systems and processes for referral and delivery of care, such as those coordinated by health systems, public health departments, or disaster management services, are warranted.
Kwan, B. M., Sobczak, C., Beaty, L., Wynia, M. K., DeCamp, M., Owen, V., & Ginde, A. A. (2022). Clinician Perspectives on Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for High-Risk Outpatients with COVID-19: Implications for Implementation and Equitable Access. J Gen Intern Med, 1-9. doi:10.1007/s11606-022-07702-2